Taglines: Kiss Your Nerves Good-Bye!
Ashley Williams travels to a secluded cabin in the woods with his girlfriend Linda where they find a tape recording of a professor and a book of evil. This unleashes a bunch of evil spirits that constantly terrorize Ash. Meanwhile a journalist comes to the area to study the book of evil. Ash and her end up having to survive this swarm of evil until morning comes.
Evil Dead II (referred to in publicity materials as Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn) is a 1987 American comedy horror film directed by Sam Raimi. It is a parody sequel to the 1981 horror film The Evil Dead. The film was written by Raimi and Scott Spiegel (they wrote the screenplay during the production of another collaboration, Crimewave), produced by Robert Tapert, and stars Bruce Campbell as Ash Williams.
Filming took place in Michigan and North Carolina in 1986 and the film was released in the United States on March 13, 1987. It was a minor box office success, achieving just under $6 million. It garnered positive reviews in which critics praised Raimi’s direction and Campbell’s performance.
About the Story
The film begins with a simplified recap of the events of the first film. Ash Williams and his girlfriend Linda take a romantic vacation to a seemingly abandoned cabin in the woods. While in the cabin, Ash plays a tape of an archaeologist known as Professor Raymond Knowby, the cabin’s previous inhabitant, reciting passages from the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis (or Book of the Dead), which he has discovered during an archaeological dig. The recorded incantation unleashes an evil force that kills and later possesses Linda. Ash is then forced to decapitate his girlfriend with a shovel and bury her near the cabin.
The film then picks up where the first film left off, where a spirit is seen throwing Ash through the woods, making him hit branches and spin 360 degrees before making him hit another tree and fall into a puddle of mud, which he appears to be drowning in. Ash briefly becomes possessed by the demon, but when day breaks the spirit is gone, and Ash returns to normal.
Ash finds little chance of safety, however, as the bridge leading to the cabin is destroyed. Linda’s revived head attacks Ash by biting his hand. Ash brings Linda’s severed head to the shed, where her headless body attacks him with a chainsaw. Ash gains the upper hand and slashes the relentless deadite Linda to death, killing her a second and final time. Then Ash’s possessed right hand tries to kill him, and Ash is forced to sever his hand with his chainsaw. Ash then attempts to shoot the severed hand hiding in the wall of the cabin. The hand mocks him and ultimately gets away.
While Ash deals with this force, the professor’s daughter, Annie, and her research partner, Ed Getley, return from the dig with more pages of the Necronomicon in tow, only to find the destroyed bridge. They enlist the help of Jake and Bobby Joe to guide them along an alternate trail to the cabin. The four of them find an embattled Ash, who is, seemingly, slowly being driven insane due to his encounter with the demon, such as hallucinating that the room comes to life with objects in the room laughing hysterically at him; clock, books, desk, deer mount, etc.
At first, he is mistaken for a murderer by the four people because he shoots at them through the door (mistaking them as the Evil Force), but they find out the truth after listening to a recording of Annie’s father, Professor Knowby, that talked about how his wife Henrietta was possessed and buried in the cabin’s root cellar rather than dismembered. Ed is possessed and is soon dismembered by an axe wielding Ash.
Bobby Joe tries to escape but is attacked by the demon trees and dragged to her death (homeage to a scene from the first film). Annie translates two of the pages before Jake turns on them and throws the pages into the cellar, holding them at gunpoint to force them to go look for Bobby Joe. Ash is possessed once again and turns on his remaining companions, incapacitating Jake.
Annie retreats to the cabin and accidentally stabs Jake (mistaking him for the demon) and drags him to the cellar door, where he is killed by Henrietta in a gory bloodbath. Deadite Ash tries to kill Annie, but returns to his normal self when he sees his girlfriend Linda’s necklace, reminding him of her.
Evil Dead II (1987)
Directed by: Sam Raimi
Starring: Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, Dan Hicks, Kassie Wesley DePaiva, Ted Raimi, Denise Bixler, John Peakes, Lou Hancock, Scott Spiegel
Screenplay by: Sam Raimi, Scott Spiegel
Cinematography by: Peter Deming
Film Editing by: Kaye Davis
Set Decoration by: Elizabeth Moore
Art Direction by: Randy Bennett, Philip Duffin
Music by: Joseph LoDuca
Distributed by: De Laurentiis Entertainment Group
Release Date: March 13, 1987